MotoGPIndianapolisAugust 27, 2011
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 12
Indianapolis Grand Prix Qualifying

Stoner Gets Seventh Pole of The Season

Race Results >>

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V) set the absolute fastest lap by a motorcycle in a very warm qualifying session for Sunday’s Indianapolis Grand Prix at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Yamaha riders Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo filled out the front row with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) fourth in front of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.

Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team) Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Qualifying was held in a brilliant, warm sunshine, with Stoner setting the early pace on a track that continued to improve after a recent paving. The riders had been highly critical of the infield, which was repaved, but as more rubber was laid down the track got progressively faster until it yielded a record time. In the morning practice session, the championship leader had raced to the fastest ever time by a motorcycle at “The Brickyard,” eclipsing the qualifying mark set by Pedrosa in 2009, and he continued his form in qualifying.

Stoner was fastest in every sector and nearly unassailable. Every time Spies would slightly close the gap, Stoner upped the pace. By the end of the hour he had compiled the six fastest laps. His best of 1m, 38.850s came late in the session and cemented his seventh pole position of the season. In the first 12 races, Stoner has only been off the front row once, in Estoril.

Not only was the Australian fastest over one lap, but his Repsol Honda RC212V reached the fastest trap speed of all, 323.5Km/h, over 201mph.

Pedrosa had been on the front row until very late in the hour when Lorenzo edged him out. The difference between the two Spaniards was .318s. Pedrosa isn’t at 100% fitness following an injury-interrupted season, but his physical conditioning shouldn’t play a part in Sunday’s 12th round of the MotoGP World Championship. Pedrosa failed to finish the previous Czech Grand Prix in Brno, but before that he’d been quite strong, winning in Germany and finishing third in the USGP.

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V) is in the middle of the second row after qualifying only .077s behind Pedrosa. Dovizioso, like many riders, was concerned about tyre wear. The added traction of the new surface caused problems with the front tyre, which many riders were trying to solve through set-up. Dovizioso didn’t believe he was on Stoner’s pace, but was certain he could fight to join him on the podium.

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) was seventh fastest and on the row three pole. The Italian, who’d earned his first MotoGP podium in the Czech Grand Prix, was fourth fastest in the morning’s free practice. “Super Sic” was hopeful of improving his pace on race tyres, but discovered a problem with the front tyre when he fitted a new rear. The problem is that the rear grips so well that it pushes the front across the new pavement, causing it to quickly erode. The team will spend the night and the morning warm-up looking for a solution to the front tyre issue.

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) was 13th fastest on the hot afternoon. Aoyama felt better than he had on Friday, but not sufficiently better to move farther up the grid. The race could be a surprise, however, as Aoyama’s pace was consistent, which should allow him to move further up the order.

Toni Elias (LCR Honda MotoGP RC212V) finished 15th fastest in the middle of a pack of four riders covered by only .167s. Elias spent the session trying to decide between two very different setups going into Sunday’s race. His hopes of starting closer to the front were thwarted when he ran into a problem with the front end pushing, which made controlling the motorcycle difficult.

The Moto2 qualifying session was filled with high drama, as Marc Marquez (Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter) continued his impressive run while title leader Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing-Kalex) had his worst session of the season. Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project-FTR) and Marquez swapped the top spot back and forth for almost the entire session, except for a two minute span when Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team-Suter) was in front. Then Corsi took over with just under seven minutes remaining. The lead changed hands twice more, with Simone on top after time expired. But Marquez was still on the course and he crossed the line he’d stolen the pole by the narrowest of margins, .001s. It was the fourth pole in a row and fifth of the season for Marquez. Tomorrow he will aim to score his fourth race win after finishing second in the previous Czech Grand Prix.

Bradl has a much harder road to victory. The German could only muster a season worst 22nd starting spot-previously he’d never been worse than seventh-and will start from the eighth row of the grid. What will make his task even more difficult is that the infield of the Speedway has a narrow racing line after a recent repaving, and anyone who ventures off line does so at their own peril. The race for Bradl will be one of damage control, to try to limit his points loss to Marquez, who he leads by 43 points.

Corsi was happy to qualify a career best second, but disappointed not to get the pole position. Indianapolis is a track that he likes, which he proved last year. Corsi was forced to start from the pit lane in 2010, but he engaged the others from the start and worked his way to an impressive fifth place finish.

Fresh off his first win of the season in the Czech Republic, Andrea Iannone (Speed Master-Suter) earned his first front row starting position by qualifying third. Iannone sits fourth in the championship, but will be looking to gain ground on Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2, Motobi), who qualified only tenth best.

Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing-Tech 3) leads off row two from Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2-Suter) and Mattia Pasini (Ioda Racing Project-FTR). Smith is looking to recapture the form that pushed him to third in the championship earlier in the season.

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team) Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini)

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)

Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini)


Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: Pole position – 1m 38.850s
“I'm very happy with pole here in Indy, the team have been doing a great job under difficult conditions this weekend, but the race is tomorrow and we will keep working right up until the last moment to try and get the set up right. Obviously without the bumps from previous years the track is performing a lot better, but the lack of consistency in the grip levels are causing issues, everyone is loosing the front and it doesn't give you a lot of confidence, when you hit these patches the bike just seems to drop away from you. We haven't changed too much since FP1, just a few small steps and trying to get the front tyre to work more as with such little grip, we are destroying it. For race distance we're looking pretty good, we did more than race distance on soft front and soft rear and had good stability, we'll wait and see what the conditions are like for tomorrow and decide from there.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 4th – 1m 39.947s
“We had some issues in the session with the front tyre, I didn't feel very comfortable with it and we couldn't get the most from it. I was not going super-fast and I lost the first row, but I'm not worried about the position. We would like to be closer to Casey and Ben - they have been very fast and consistent - so I hope to find something more tomorrow morning in the warm-up to help us fight for the podium. The race will be hard because it's very hot out there, and it will also be a big challenge for the tyres, but I hope we perform better in the race.”

Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda: 5th – 1m 40.024s
“Starting from the second row tomorrow is not too bad. It will be important to have a good start and ride consistently, trying to manage the tyres for the twenty-eight lap race. The rear grip is too strong compared with the front, which causes the front tyre to overheat, this remains the main issue so we need to continue working with the set up to rectify this. During qualifying the ground temperature reached fifty-one degrees, these conditions are really demanding for the tyres. Concerning the pace, I have good rhythm and even though the gap to Casey remains too big for my liking, I think we can fight with Dani and Lorenzo for a podium position, this is our target and we will continue working to improve the machine for the race.”

Marco Simoncelli, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 7th – 1m 40.204s
“Obviously, I was hoping to do better than this because things weren't going too badly or us in the first half of qualifying. I was optimistic because my pace on race tyres was good, but when we put a new rear in to chase a faster lap time the front was completely destroyed within a couple of laps and I couldn't push the bike as I wanted to. Now we will have a look at the data and do some work for the race to and find a solution that will save on front tyre wear. As I said I am still optimistic about my race pace and even though a podium will be difficult and even more so the win, we have a good chance of improving on our starting position.”

Hiroshi Aoyama, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 13th – 1m 40.925s
“My feeling was a little better today but not enough to make up positions. We start from near the back again and that presents its own problems, but my race pace is not too bad, so I am looking forward to tomorrow.”

Toni Elias, LCR Honda MotoGP: 15th – 1m 41.030s
“Already from yesterday’s afternoon session and this morning we knew which are going to be our front and rear tyres for the race. It seems we had less issues with front tyre compared with the other riders especially about the wear. In this afternoon session we have tested two different bike setups; one was better in turning and the other one had a better stability, so we have been trying to understand which was the best one for tomorrow. In my last run I had a big issues with the new rear tyre that was pushing too much in the front and I struggled to control the bike. We will work on that in the warm up tomorrow to get a better feeling. At the end I had not taken a painkiller injection as my right feet is improving day by day.”


Marc Marquez, Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter: Pole position – 1m 44.038s
“It was a very close session and we are happy with the way it went. We did our best in a circuit that has kept changing its conditions during the whole weekend, as having a new tarmac, it improves its grip with every lap. This forces us to change the setup, but we are doing a good job with the team and, despite that I could ride very comfortably. Anyway, as I always say, the race is tomorrow and it is when it is important to do a good performance. It will be difficult, because Corsi and Iannone are very combative riders and will not make things easy for us tomorrow.”

Simone Corsi, Ioda Racing Project-FTR: 2nd – 1m 44.039s
“I’m so disappointed to miss out on pole position by just .001s, but nonetheless the important thing is to start on the front row for tomorrow’s race. I really want to thank the team, because right from the start we were feeling really fast in really hot conditions. After last year when I started on the back of the grid and finished fifth, I’m really looking forward to the race. especially because the track seems to have cleaned up somewhat over the last couple of days.”

Andrea Iannone, Speed Master-Suter: 3rd – 1m 44.158s
“I’m delighted to be on the front row because it’s the first time I’ve managed it this year. Simone and Marc were both really, really fast straight from the start and that made it a very hard practice session. But I’m very delighted to be on the front row, because it promises to be a difficult race and very hard, as always, in Moto2.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 12
Indianapolis Grand Prix Qualifying
1 Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Ben SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing)
3 Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
4 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)
6 Colin EDWARDS (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
7 Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
8 Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
9 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
10 Hector BARBERA (Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP)
11 Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
12 Randy DE PUNIET (Pramac Racing Team)
13 Hiroshi AOYAMA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
14 Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)
15 Toni ELIAS (LCR Honda MotoGP)
16 Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
17 Loris CAPIROSSI (Pramac Racing Team)
1 Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)
2 Simone CORSI (Ioda Racing Project)
3 Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)
4 Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)
5 Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2)
6 Mattia PASINI (Ioda Racing Project)
7 Pol ESPARGARO (HP Tuenti Speed Up)
8 Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)
9 Esteve RABAT (Blusens-STX)
10 Alex DE ANGELIS (JIR Moto2)
1 Nicolas TEROL (Bankia Aspar Team 125cc)
2 Sandro CORTESE (Intact-Racing Team Germany)
3 Johann ZARCO (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo)
4 Maverick VIÑALES (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing)
5 Danny KENT (Red Bull Ajo MotorSport)
6 Hector FAUBEL (Bankia Aspar Team 125cc)
7 Efren VAZQUEZ (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo)
8 Jonas FOLGER (Red Bull Ajo MotorSport)
9 Sergio GADEA (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing)
10 Alexis MASBOU (Caretta Technology)

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